Aena Launches the Largest Real Estate Plan in Spain

5 April 2019 – Expansión

Aena is planning to put up for tender between 160,000 m2 and 200,000 m2 of land at Barajas airport (Madrid) and another 300,000 m2 at El Prat (Barcelona).

The airport manager plans to invest €4.3 billion in the land adjacent to the Adolfo Suárez-Barajas (Madrid) and El Prat (Barcelona) airports and intends to put the first plots up for auction this year, most likely in December.

The firm led by Maurici Lucena has detected interest from funds and Socimis in its plots, which may be used for the development of logistics assets, as well as for hotel, office and commercial use. The plots are very attractive given their unique locations and connections and the three favourite investors at this stage are Blackstone, Segro and Merlin.

A priori, Aena’s idea is to create companies together with the investing partners who will finance the developments. Prices for the land at Barajas could range between €500/m2 and €750/m2 and for finished products could reach up to €1,800/m2.

In El Prat, the prices are expected to be higher given the space restrictions there, reaching around €2,000/m2 for finished products and between €750/m2 and €1,000/m2 for undeveloped plots of land.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Bidding Opens for the Largest Plot of Tertiary Land in Madrid

20 March 2019 – Expansión

Savills Aguirre Newman is marketing more than 180,000 m2 of land for the development of retail, hotel and office properties in the Valdebebas area of Madrid. It is the largest undeveloped tertiary use plot in the capital and the surface area for sale has been divided into three zones, all of which are being managed by the Valdebebas Compensation Board. The owners of the land include Monthisa, Bisbel, Vivienda Económica, Celteo, Coindeco and Inmobiliaria Espacio.

The plan is for the sale of the land to be completed by the beginning of the summer, which means that a large number of investors will be able to participate. Retail, hotel and office property developers have already expressed interest in the site, although no firm offers have been received yet.

The development of this new area was unblocked in February, after five years on the backburner, when the Town Hall of Madrid dismissed all of the appeals against the approval of the economic reparcelation project of the Valdebebas land.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Rockspring Buys McCann’s HQ in the 22@ District of Barcelona

25 January 2019 – Expansión

The owner of the Mercadona logistics platform in Sant Esteve Sesrovires is now investing in the office segment in Barcelona.

International investors are continuing to back the office segment in Barcelona to benefit from the boom in demand and the growth in rents that are being recorded in the sector. The latest player to invest is the British fund Rockspring – which has formed part of Patrizia Immobilien since last year – which has purchased an office building located in the 22@ district, the area that is registering the highest demand. The amount of the operation could reach €12 million, according to sources in the sector.

The property, located at number 123 Calle Ciudad de Granada, on the corner with Calle Tánger, was the former headquarters of Laboratorios Kin until that company moved to other offices on La Diagonal. The manufacturer of dental hygiene products, which used to own the property, carried out a comprehensive renovation project, which involved its change of use from industrial to offices, and it put it on the rental market. Savills Aguirre Newman was engaged for its marketing and was also responsible for searching for an investor (…).

In May last year, the property was leased in its entirety to the multi-national advertising company McCann, which left Edificio Planeta and opened its corporate headquarters in 22@, where it occupies a surface area of 3,000 m2.

The useful surface area of the offices amounts to 2,740 m2, spread over four floors measuring 650 m2 each and an attic spanning 140 m2. The rental price agreed with McCann amounts to €16.50/month (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: RE Investment Rose by 8% in 2018 to €11.6bn

9 January 2019 – El Periódico

The volume of annual investment in the Spanish real estate sector amounted to €11.63 billion in 2018, which represented an increase of 8% compared to 2017. If we add the corporate operations with underlying real estate to that volume, then the figure increases to €19 billion, which represents an investment record since the end of the crisis, according to the latest report from BNP Paribas Real Estate in Spain. The report highlights that interest from investors in the Spanish real estate sector in 2018 was at its highest level for a decade.

During the fourth quarter of the year, the volume of direct investment in real estate assets – offices, logistics warehouses, hotels, retail and residential – amounted to €3.7 billion in total, which represented an increase of 58% YoY. The evolution of investor activity, therefore, exceeded the expectations of the sector at the beginning of the year.

“The good times that the fundamentals of the market are enjoying, with occupancy levels at maximums and rents that are stable or expanding in the most consolidated markets, together with the surplus capital and the limited alternatives offered by other financial products, have fostered a frenetic pace of activity in the investment market”, explains the report.

By type of asset, the commercial sector (retail) was the star of the year. The volume invested in commercial assets during 2018 amounted to €4.28 billion, which represents an increase of 23% compared to 2017. During the fourth quarter, investment reached €1.26 billion, and so the sector achieved a quarterly market share of 35%. The largest operation during the final quarter of the year was the purchase of a portfolio of three shopping centres – Max Center, Gran Casa and Valle Real – by Sonae Sierra and Perter Varbacka for €485 million.

Commercial yields

Demand from investors for high street retail assets was high, given that they consider them to be a very stable product. Similarly, there was a high interest in land for the development of retail parks, in light of the scarce supply of this type of asset. The yields continued at 3.00% for prime premises; between 5.00% and 5.25% for prime shopping centres; and at 5.75% for prime retail parks.

In terms of the office market, the investment volume recorded during the fourth quarter was €986 million taking the total figure for the year to €2.228 billion. That represented a slight YoY decrease of 4%. The shortage of products for sale meant that fewer operations materialised in 2018 than in 2017. The prime yield in the office market remained at 3.25% in Madrid and 3.50% in Barcelona.

The logistics market continues to rise. The increase in e-commerce and the strong performance of the consumer sector and the economy, in general, have encouraged investment in this type of asset. The investment volume registered during the fourth quarter of the year amounted to €400 million, whilst the total figure for the year (€1.3 billion) represented a new investment record, and an increase of 30% compared to 2017. The shortage of products, combined with the high investment pressure resulted in a considerable adjustment in yields, which amounted to 5.30% in the prime logistics market in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Investors

Investment funds were the great stars of the market, representing 61% of the total volume transacted in 2018. Socimis have been very present in the investment market, both on the buy and sell sides in the main land transactions to develop new products. Finally, the presence of family offices (private investors) stood out, with acquisitions, in general, for volumes of less than €50 million.

Alternative investments remained in the spotlight of investors, who were mainly attracted by student residences, clinics and nursing homes for the elderly. The cumulative volume invested in those types of assets amounted to €600 million in 2018.

Original story: El Periódico (by Max Jiménez Botías)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcino Purchases a Property in Barcelona for €2.4M

4 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Barcino is going shopping in the Catalan capital. The Socimi, which made its debut on the stock market in December, has acquired an asset comprising nine homes and one office, located at number 105 Calle Hospital in Barcelona. The operation has been closed for almost €2.4 million, according to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB).

The company has financed the purchase using funds obtained from the capital increase that it carried out in September, amounting to €9.7 million. In addition, the occupancy rate of the asset amounts to 89%, according to a statement filed by the group with the stock market regulator.

Barcino is in the process of growing its residential portfolio. Its most recent acquisition was at the beginning of October when it purchased a property in the Catalan capital for €2.8 million. In May, the company invested €2 million in the purchase of around twenty assets, also in Barcelona, the city where it centres all of its operations. Most of its buildings are rental homes, but it also owns offices buildings and commercial premises, located throughout the metropolitan area of the Catalan capital.

Before the end of 2017, the Socimi disbursed €1.6 million to acquire a residential building on Calle Girona. The company’s Board of Directors comprises Mateu Turró, in the role of President, and Francesc Ventura and Ralph Weichelt, as directors. Barcino was valued at €19.1 million when it made its debut on the MAB.

Specialising in real estate investment and management, the Socimi is controlled (50.01%) by Barcino Management and managed by a company linked to the firm Vistalegre Property Management.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia Will Build Everis’s New HQ in Barcelona Spanning 25,000m2

29 September 2018 – Expansión

The multinational consultancy firm Everis will move its headquarters from Barcelona to an office complex that Meridia Capital is going to build for it in the Villa Olímpica and which will have a surface area of 25,000 m2. According to Cushman&Wakefield, which has advised on the lease, it is the largest corporate rental operation in the Catalan capital for the last 10 years.

Currently, Everis has its headquarters at 605, La Diagonal, although it also occupies other offices in different locations around the city. Its intention is to move all of its workers from Barcelona, around 2,900 people in total, to the future headquarters. The new facilities will be located at number 213 Avenida Icària and will be split between two buildings.

The plot was acquired a year ago by Meridia, the investment manager chaired by Javier Faus, and has a total surface area of 43,000 m2. The plan is to allocate two-thirds of the plot to offices and the rest to homes.

The Everis project is the first one to be announced for this mega-plot and will be constructed by Meridia turnkey for the multinational firm, with which it has signed a 10-year lease contract. According to a statement issued by the consultancy firm yesterday, the new offices will be “a series of modern, efficient and open spaces that will promote collaboration and innovation through their shared work areas and the latest technologies”.

The new space will be complementary to Living Lab, an innovation and co-creation laboratory located in Barcelona, where more than 70 Everis professionals are based working on the development of innovative projects.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

IBA’s Socimi Zambal to Complete €80M Capital Increase

30 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Just over a year after expanding its share capital by more than €91 million, Zambal is preparing to undertake a new operation. The Socimi managed by IBA Capital has convened its shareholders for a General Meeting in September to carry out a new capital increase, in this case, amounting to €80 million.

According to a statement filed by the company with the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), the capital increase will be undertaken through the issue of 80 million shares with a nominal value of €1 and an issue premium of €0.25, which “will be subscribed and fully paid up through the offsetting of loans”.

Without resorting to bank financing, Zambal has built a portfolio worth more than €730 million. The company’s main assets include, for example, the property at number 77 Avenida San Luis (which houses the headquarters of Gas Natural in Madrid); the Vodafone Building on Avenida de América, and number 18 Avenida de Burgos, which is leased in its entirety to BMW.

The Socimi, which started life in 2013, is an investment vehicle managed externally by IBA Capital Partners. The company specialises in the investment and subsequent management of assets in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona in the office and retail segments, although the company is also looking at other assets such as nursing homes, hospitals, retail parks and logistics platforms.

One of the most recent operations undertaken by Zambal was the purchase of two office buildings on Calle Albarracín in Madrid, which is leased to the French multi-national Atos. That operation involved an investment of €38 million.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

MAB Approves Testa’s Stock Market Debut with Market Capitalisation of €1.83bn

24 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Testa is getting ready to refinance its debt. The Socimi in which Santander, BBVA, Merlin and Acciona Inmobiliaria hold stakes has included the refinancing of its liability on its roadmap, given that 91% of the firm’s gross financial debt is due to expire in 2022, according to an information document prepared for its incorporation onto the Alternative Investment Market (MAB), which was published yesterday.

As at 31 March, Testa’s gross financial debt amounted to €475 million, whilst the net financial debt amounted to €415 million. In addition, in order to finance the purchase of the BuildingCenter, the company took out two more loans amounting to €230 million.

As the company explained, of the total gross financial debt, €431 million (91%) expires in 2022. The company plans to refinance its debt by resorting to different instruments.

Testa’s plans following its debut on the MAB involve continuing with its purchase process, which involves acquiring between 1,000 and 2,000 apartments each year. According to the document, the Socimi has a pipeline with a GAV of around €539 million, which represents around 2,959 apartments.

As at 31 December 2017, Testa’s portfolio comprised 9,244 homes, 295 retail premises, located in the same buildings as the homes, and an office building and parking lot in Plaza Castilla, with a combined market value of €2.276 billion. Nevertheless, that data does not include the BuildingCenter portfolio.

In March, Testa signed an agreement to acquire the residential portfolio of the real estate arm of CaixaBank, comprising 1,458 homes. To date, according to the MAB document, Testa has acquired 1,450 apartments from that portfolio for a price of €226 million.

By geographical area, the Community of Madrid accounts for approximately 65% of the gross value of the portfolio, followed by San Sebastián, with 7.2%; Barcelona, 4.1%; Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 2.9%; Valencia, 2.5%; Toledo, 2.4%; Pamplona, 2%; Valladolid, 1.9%, and Oviedo, 1.5%.

The company, in which Santander holds a 36.8% stake; BBVA a 25.6% stake; Acciona a 20% stake and Merlin Properties a 17% stake, will make its debut on the stock market with a capitalisation of more than €1.83 billion. The company’s stock market debut has suffered several delays, but yesterday it received the green light from the MAB.

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Catella Acquires 3 Residential Assets in Pamplona for €26M

7 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Catella Asset Management Iberia (Cami) is on a roll in Spain. The Swedish fund has taken another step forward in its strategy to grow its residential business in Spain with the purchase of three buildings in Pamplona for €26 million, according to explanations provided by sources at the company speaking to Eje Prime.

The latest operation signed by the fund in Spain is the acquisition from a local property developer of three residential buildings for their operation as long-term rental properties. “The vendor is going to continue to take care of the day-to-day management of the buildings”, explain the sources.

Two of the three assets are located in Plaza Puerta de Badostain, in the town of Sarrigueren, located to the west of Pamplona. Those two assets contain 168 homes, 187 parking spaces and 173 storerooms, covering a total constructed surface area of 15,080 m2.

The third building is located on Calle Paseo de los Donantes de Sangre, in the neighbourhood of Ezcaba, in the north of Pamplona. This residence has 67 homes, 69 parking spaces and 67 storerooms, which together span a constructed surface area of 7,100 m2.  The operation has been brokered by the real estate consultancy JLL.

Moreover, Catella has recently signed agreements with developers for the construction of two developments in Madrid containing 362 homes and which will form part of its portfolio in operation in the next 18 months.

The first development, whose delivery is scheduled for December 2018, is located in the expansion area of Villaverde in Madrid. It is a development with 171 homes, garages and storerooms, with a combined constructed surface area of 13,035 m2.

Meanwhile, the second development comprises 191 homes, garages and storerooms, spanning a constructed surface area of 13,800 m2 and located in the south of Madrid, which will be handed over at the beginning of 2020. With these acquisitions, Catella Asset Management Iberia has four residential assets: four in Madrid, one in Barcelona and three in Pamplona.

Roadmap in Spain

This operation forms part of the new roadmap that Catella is going to follow in the Spanish market. The Swedish manager, which is going to focus on its objective of growing its asset portfolio in the residential and office sectors, plans to own up to 1,000 flats for rental by the end of this year, doubling its current figure, which stands at around 400 homes.

Present in Spain since 2015, Catella has signed five purchases in recent years in the residential segment, where it has spent around €85 million. The group has €300 million more to spend to continue growing through purchases in the country.

In addition to the residential business, Catella is also very present in the retail sector, where it has recently undertaken operations, such as the purchase from Axiare of the Planetocio shopping centre in Madrid, alongside AEW. The company closed 2017 with a portfolio of assets under management in Spain worth €200 million.

In addition, through its fund specialising in student housing, Catella European Student Housing Fund, the investment company is backing the star alternative asset in the real estate at the moment.

In 2017, it purchased the La Campana hall of residence in Pamplona and, this year, it is analysing possible new acquisitions in the large capitals such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Sevilla, but also in another city with a notable presence of university students: Granada.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: RE Inv’t Amounted to €2.45bn in Q1 2018

6 April 2018 – Expansión

The rate of growth of real estate investment in Spain is slowing down, although it retained its strength during the first quarter of 2018. The volume transacted during the 3 months to March amounted to €2.45 billion, having decreased by 27.5% with respect to the same period last year (€3.38 billion), a figure that included record operations such as the purchase of the Xanadú shopping centre for €560 million, which caused investment volumes to soar.

According to a report compiled by the consultancy firm BNP Paribas Real Estate, the retail segment led the investment ranking during the first three months of the year to account for 44% of the total volume transacted, in other words, around €1.08 billion. That was thanks to operations such as the sale of a portfolio of stores by Inditex to the German fund Deka for €370 million; the sale of Parque Corredor, in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), for €200 million; and the sale of the Las Habaneras shopping centre in Orihuela (Alicante), for €160 million.

Retail was followed by the office and hotel segments, with a volume of around €350 million each, and the logistics segment with 10% of the total.

Residential assets also accounted for 10% of the total investment figure thanks to operations such as the purchase of a portfolio of 1,500 homes by Testa from CaixaBank for €228 million, whilst alternative assets gained traction to account for 7% of the total volume invested.

Assets

By type of investor, funds are becoming established as the main buyers of real estate, unseating the Socimis, which remain immersed in the asset management process and which are preparing to dispose of some of their assets.

David Alonso, Director of Research at BNP Paribas Real Estate, explains that the high volume operations currently in the pipeline indicate that the total investment figure for the year as a whole may well reach, or even exceed, the investment volume recorded in 2017.

The aforementioned operations include the portfolio of offices that Hispania has on the market, which has an estimated closing price of between €500 million and €600 million; three shopping centres that Sonae Sierra and CBRE Global Investors have up for sale worth around €500 million; a portfolio of four shopping centres owned by Unibail Rodamco; and several large office complexes in Madrid and Barcelona located in good areas of the market.

More caution

Luis Nuño, Director of Office Investment at BNP Paribas Real Estate, indicates that the market remains optimistic about the evolution of real estate investment in Spain, although with “more caution” than in previous years.

“Investors are going to have to propose more imaginative formulae and be more flexible if they want to access certain operations. Vendors’ expectations have been increasing gradually in recent years, making it more difficult to achieve the returns demanded by investors”, he said.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake